Picture of Erica Von Essen sitting on grass

E-post: erica.von.essen@socant.su.se

Erica von Essen is an associate professor of Environmental Communication from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, now working at the Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University. As a non-disciplinary researcher, she conducts empirical and theoretical research on human-animal relations in modern society. She has looked at the scope of human-wildlife interactions including conflicts, killing, ethics, wildlife tourism, digital animal encounter, wildlife management, rewilding and hunting. She is especially knowledgeable in matters pertaining to wolves, wild boar, and to all things hunting. 



  • Ph.D. in Environmental Communication, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


  • Masters Degree in Sustainable Development, Uppsala University


  • Bachelor of Social Sciences, Uppsala University (geography, social anthropology)



  • Researcher, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)


  • Associate Professor, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


  • Postdoc, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


  • PhD Candidate, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences



  • License to Cull: Investigating the Necropolitics of Countryside Culling and Urban Pest Control – FORMAS Research Council, Young Researchers (project leader), 3 M SEK


  • Work package leader for Empirical Opening #5 in ERC Project “Veterinarization of Europe: Hunting for Wild Boar Futures in the Time of African Swine Fever’”


  • Swedish Hunting Association – 100,000 SEK for 2020 (project leader)
  • Swedish Hunting Association – 100,000 SEK for 2019 (project leader)
  • Swedish Hunting Association – 100,000 SEK for 2018 (project leader)


  • Animal welfare and ethical challenges in animal-based tourism, 2019. Funded by Future Animals, Nature and Health (project leader). 50,000 SEK


  • Challenges Facing Swedish Hunting Ethics - Viltvårdsfonden, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, 4.5 M SEK 2018-2021 (project leader)

MEDIA & OUTREACH              


  • 140+ citations in Swedish media; 3 TV appearances, 10 radio appearances, open house and faculty day presentations, and regular media liaison for wolf and hunting issues


  • 2 PhD students, 22+ masters thesis students
  • 2017 Pedagogical Prize, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Course leader for Independent Master Thesis Course, Interdisciplinary Practice within Masters Programme Sustainable Development, Communication Theory & Strategy Environmental Communication. Environmental Communication and Management Masters programme, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


von Essen, E.; Lindsjö, J.; Berg, C. Instagranimal: Animal Welfare and Animal Ethics Challenges of Animal-Based Tourism. Animals 2020, 10 von Essen, E.; Allen, M.; Tickle, L. Game of Drones: On the Moral Significance of Deception in Modern Sport Hunting. Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence 2020, 4, 137-157.

von Essen, E., and M. Allen. (2020). Killing with kindness: when hunters want to let you know they care. Human Dimensions of Wildlife:1-17. 10.1080/10871209.2020.1800145

Tickle, L., and E. von Essen. (2020). The seven sins of hunting tourism. Annals of Tourism Research 84: oi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2020.102996

von Essen, E., & Allen, M. (2020). ‘Not the Wolf Itself’: Distinguishing Hunters’ Criticisms of Wolves from Procedures for Making Wolf Management Decisions. Ethics, Policy & Environment, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/21550085.2020.1746009

Joosse, S., Powell, S., Bergeå, H., Böhm, S., Calderón, C., Caselunghe, E., Fischer, A., Grubbström, A., Hallgren, L., Holmgren, S., Löf, A., Källström, H. N., Raitio, K., Senecah, S., Kanarp, C. S., von Essen, E., Westberg, L., & Westin, M. (2020). Critical, Engaged and Change-oriented Scholarship in Environmental Communication. Six Methodological Dilemmas to Think with. Environmental Communication, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2020.1725588

von Essen, E. (2020). The Changing Wildlife Tableau of Hunting Magazine Covers. Society & Animals, 1-23. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1163/15685306-BJA10002

von Essen, E. Tickle, L (2019). Leisure or Labour: An Identity Crisis for Modern Hunting? Sociologica Ruralis. doi.org/10.1111/soru.12271

von Essen, E. and M. Allen (2019). "Political Deliberation and Compromise: Why People-Nature Reconciliation Must Be about People-People Reconciliation." Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies 17(1): 55-66.

von Essen, E. and H. P. Hansen (2019). "Reconciliation, Welcoming of the Wild, and the Desire to Turn Back Time " Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies 17(1): 1-4.

von Essen, E., van Heijgen, E, Gieser, T. (2019). "Hunting communities of practice: Factors behind the social differentiation of hunters in modernity." Journal of Rural Studies 68: 13-21.

von Essen, E. 2019. How Wild Boar Hunting is Becoming a Battleground. Journal of Leisure Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2018.1550456

Allen, M. and E. von Essen 2018. "Animal Resistors: On the Right of Resistance and Human Duties of Non-Return and Abolition    " Critical Animal Studies 15(6): 3-28

Von Essen, E. 2018. "We Need to Talk…” Evolving Conversations about Ethics in Hunting Press 1960s-today”. Humanimalia 10: 1

Peterson, M. N., von Essen, E., Hansen, H. P., & Peterson, T. R. 2018. Shoot shovel and sanction yourself: Self-policing as a response to wolf poaching among Swedish hunters. Ambio. doi:10.1007/s13280-018-1072-5

von Essen, E. 2018. The impact of modernization on hunting ethics: Emerging taboos among contemporary Swedish hunters. Human Dimensions of Wildlife,23 (1): 21-38

von Essen, E. Hansen, H.P. Peterson, M.N. Peterson, T.R. 2017. Discourses on Illegal Hunting in Sweden: The Meaning of Silence and Resistance. Environmental Sociology, DOI: 10.1080/23251042.2017.1408446

von Essen, E. and M.P. Allen. 2017. Taking prejudice seriously: Burkean reflections on the rural past and present. Sociologia Ruralis,  10.1111/soru.12183

von Essen, E., and Allen, M.P. 2017. “From Obstructionism to Communication: Local, National and Transnational Dimensions of Contestations on the Swedish Wolf Cull Controversy” Environmental Communication. DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2016.1269821, pp. 1-13

von Essen, E. Allen, M. 2016. ”Wild-But-Not-Too-Wild Animals: Challenging Goldilocks Standards in Rewilding”. Between the Species, 19(1) 80-108

von Essen, E. 2015. “Whose discourse is it anyway? Understanding resistance through the rise of ‘barstool biology’ in nature conservation”. Journal of Environmental Communication. DOI:10.1080/17524032.2015.1042986

von Essen, E., and Allen, M.P. 2015. "Reconsidering Illegal Hunting as a Crime of Dissent: Implication for Justice and Deliberative Uptake. " Criminal Law & Philosophy:1-16. doi: 10.1007/s11572-014-9364-8.

von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2014. "Deconstructing the Poaching Phenomenon: A Review of Typologies for Understanding Illegal Hunting." British Journal of Criminology no. 54 (4):632-651.